When a couple decides to get a divorce, there are a few different options available for them to use. These options are as follows:
The couple can decide to take their divorce and the issues involved in their divorce to a judge in order to attempt to divide their property and handle issues such as child custody and spousal support. This option has been used several times with traditional male/female couples, but has not been used often with same sex couples. Because of the lack of previous same sex divorces that have gone through the litigation process, there aren’t very many legal rules involving this type of divorce, so taking the route of litigation could end up making your divorce worse than it needs to be. Litigation is also very time consuming and expensive compared to the other options available when filing for divorce.
The couple filing for divorce can attempt to negotiate issues they have with each other regarding property division, child custody and/or visitation, spousal support, etc. either with each other by talking out these issues and coming up with a contract that both parties will sign at the end of the negotiation, or by hiring attorneys to do the negotiation for them. This form of conflict resolution is quicker and less costly than litigation, but sometimes couples cannot handle negotiating directly with one another.
Mediation is a form of conflict resolution in which the parties involved in the conflict meet with a neutral third party, called a mediator, in order to peacefully resolve their conflict. Mediation can work with several different kinds of family law cases (as well as other types of cases) including divorce. Mediation is also much quicker and less costly than litigation and it gives the parties involved in the conflict more control of the outcome.
A collaborative divorce is a fairly new form of handling a divorce that takes certain ideas from both mediation and negotiation. In a collaborative divorce, both parties involved have an attorney who will work at negotiating with the other party as long as both parties agree that they will not take their divorce to court. If one of the parties involved does decide to take the divorce to court then the attorneys will leave their client’s employment and the couple will have to start over from the beginning of the divorce proceedings. There is no mediator involved in a collaborative divorce, but the attorneys and the couple will meet several times in the attempt to resolve issues involved in the divorce, just like they would in mediation sessions.
For more information about collaborative divorce, negotiation, or same sex divorce, visit montesfamilylaw.com.
Irving, Shae. “Same-Sex Divorce: Why Mediation or Collaboration Is Better Than Going to Court.”
Nolo.com. Nolo, 2016. Web. 4 Mar. 2016.